Veteran Jack Johnson Tops Small-Block Shootout
Starting second, the 58-year-old Johnson jumped to an immediate lead at the start of the 50-lap event and lost the top spot only momentarily when Steve Paine drove around him on lap five. The victory, Johnson¿s 11th in a DIRT small-block modified, was worth $3,000.
¿The race car was great tonight,¿ said Johnson. ¿The crew told me on the radio to just protect the bottom. They didn¿t see anybody really moving at the top of the track, so I stayed on the bottom and it worked.
¿This is a heck of a facility. They put on a heck of a show and I am just thankful to be here.¿
Billy Decker charged through the pack from the 11th starting spot to take second in the race that opened the Turning Stone Casino 358-Modified Super DIRT Series season.
¿Looks like the old man still has it,¿ Decker said about chasing Johnson to the checkered flag. ¿He was going pretty good out there.¿ Alan Johnson, who started 10th, claimed third-place honors with Tim Fuller fourth with Mike Perrotte fifth.
The event was slowed by eight caution flags for several inconsequential incidents, one of which saw Dale Planck and Pete Bicknell tangle on lap 25 while battling for second.
Tim McCreadie led the 57-car field in qualifying, touring the four-tenths-mile clay oval in 15.956 seconds. However, McCreadie had numerous problems in the main event and ended up 22nd in the 31-car field.
The eight-lap 358-modified heat races were won by Planck, Brett Hearn, Jack Johnson, Pierre Dagenais, Alan Johnson and Willy Decker. The eight-lap consolation events went to Fuller, Kyle Strickler and Jeremy Smith.
McCreadie also established himself as the favorite for Saturday night¿s Eckerd 100 for the Advance Auto Parts Modified Super DIRT Series as he topped the 63-car field in qualifying with a track-record lap of 15.745 seconds.
The Eckerd 100 weekend concludes Saturday night, highlighted by twin 50-lap features for the big-block modifieds. The DIRT Pro Stocks are also on the card. Spectator gates open at 4 p.m. with opening ceremonies at 7 p.m. and racing at 7:10. Tickets will be available at the gate.
Charlotte Small-Block Shootout (50 laps): 1. Jack Johnson; 2. Billy Decker; 3. Alan Johnson; 4. Tim Fuller; 5. Mike Perrotte; 6. Danny Johnson; 7. Brett Hearn; 8. Alex Hoag; 9. Steve Paine; 10. Matt Sheppard; 11. Jerry Higbie; 12. Kenny Tremont; 13. Ron White; 14. Frankie Caprara Jr.; 15. Dave VanHorn Jr.; 16. Chad Brachmann; 17. Pete Bicknell; 18. Willy Decker; 19. Dale Planck; 20. Vic Coffey; 21. Pierre Dagenais; 22. Tim McCreadie; 23. Ryan Baye; 24. Kevin Jordan; 25. Pat Ward; 26. Brian Malcomb; 27. Jeremy Smith; 28. Lee Gill; 29. Robbie Krull; 30. Justin Haers; 31. Kyle Strickler.